We interviewed Michael Thomas, owner of Micdesigns Digital Artwork. You can find many of his images on this site.
LOTG: What does life on the gulf mean to you?
MT: I’ve lived by the water my whole life. I grew up and lived my most of my life in Michigan surrounded by water.
Sailboat racing on the Great Lakes was one of my passions for most of my mid-life. So being close to water was a must.
When I decided to move from Michigan to the Gulf Coast the decision was made easier because of all that Lower Alabama has to offer.
LOTG: Where are some of your favorite hangouts along the Gulf and why?
MT: I tend to spend most of my free time traveling along the coast line of Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Fairhope and Mobile.
And when I’m traveling along these places my camera is my source of entertainment. I’m always looking for another great shot.
Magnolia Springs is another favorite small town that I love to visit. It is also the location of one of my favorite restaurants so I tend to wind up there a lot.
LOTG: What made you want to move down here from Michigan?
MT: I worked at a large commercial photo lab in Michigan for most of my life. We did a lot of work for the auto industry and for other commercial photographers.
I learned about cameras, art and composition while working there. I had also learned a lot about computers and IT work while working there.
When the economy tanked in 2009 my industry was hard hit and a layoff was in my future. At the time of my layoff my sister and brother-in-law were in need of some help with their business in Alabama. And my computer skills were something that was needed in their business. So I decided that a move to a completely different location was a thing that might get me going again.
LOTG: When did you realize “I can make a living doing what I love”?
MT: I haven’t really made photography and artwork my living yet. But it is a big part of what I do with my time. But I do love creating artwork from my photos. Shooting the images is just the beginning. I spend more time post processing the images on my computer than I do actually shooting the images. I love working on the computer and creating my vision of what that image should look like. Very rarely is the final image the way that it came out of the camera. The camera is just the first tool I use to create my art. The computer is my paint brush, my pallet knife and my tool.
Before I moved to Alabama I had never displayed or tried to sell any of my images. When I first moved to Alabama I was motivated by the area to start shooting more and that’s when I got the idea to start showing and selling my images. I started going to Farmers Market and Art Markets and selling my images there. I then made some connections with several art studios that convinced me to start selling my images, and I’ve been doing it now for 7 years.
LOTG: Where can people see/buy your photographs?
MT: Most of my images can be seen and purchased on-line at my two websites, www.micdesigns.com and www.micdesignsimages.com. I also have two physical locations where my images can be seen. In Fairhope Alabama at the Windmill Market, I have a studio that has images of Fairhope on display. Also, in Mobile Alabama at The Cathedral Square Gallery I have my images of Mobile on display and for sale. Facebook is another location that I show my images daily. You can friend me at my Facebook location at www.facebook.com/micdesigns. If you see something of mine on Facebook that you would like to purchase you can contact me and we can make arrangements for you to get it. You can always contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or text me at 313-407-3897.